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Friday, April 23, 2021

Student Scholars Team Up with Microsoft to Enrich Learning Experience

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DeanSaridakis
DeanSaridakis
Dean is currently a DYLN Scholar. He is a junior at Tower Hill School, where he co-chairs the Honor Board and chairs the Young Republicans group. He is also avid musician, playing bass guitar as well as alto and baritone saxophones.

At ‘High School 360,’ DYLN peer mentors led fun, hands-on challenges to promote teamwork

The Delaware Youth Leadership Network (DYLN) recently teamed up with technology giant Microsoft to offer a new event for high school freshmen aimed at educating the young scholars on how to better leverage their four years in high school.

“High School 360” was organized and delivered by the DYLN Scholars, peer mentors, and other volunteer DYLN team members. Teens from a dozen area high schools participated in the March 4th workshop at the Brandywine Community Center, where they observed collaborative studying tool demonstrations by representatives from Microsoft and learned other skills to give them a leg up in high school.

The four-hour session consisted of interactive workshops on time management, stress relief, and interviewing skills. The participants also ascertained invaluable tips to manage high school life. PechaKucha presentations, DYLN speakers and the introduction of student-focused Microsoft technology augmented their experience.

Microsoft demonstrated how students can better organize their schoolwork and collaborate on assignments through OneNote

The Microsoft representatives demonstrated how students can better organize their schoolwork and collaborate on assignments through OneNote. Students were able to explore the program on Surface Pros that Microsoft brought with them. And they also demonstrated Paint 3D and had students create and work with 3D art.

Current freshmen from 12 schools interacted with and learned from current and former DYLN Scholars on how to align their passions with their high school studies and extracurricular activities by finding a mentor in school to help them define their program of study that will yield the best result. Students also watched several PechaKuchas, which is a public speaking format that keeps presentations succinct and fast-paced by limiting the number of slides and duration per slide, resulting in roughly five- to seven-minute presentations.

The event also gave the attendees the opportunity to network with fellow ninth graders from schools across New Castle County and DYLN alumni.

Margaret O’Dwyer, Founder and Executive Director of DYLN, expressed that “High School 360 is unique in that it is a student-led event, driven by juniors and seniors for ninth graders. DYLN Scholars used design thinking to create the workshops, which led to highly interactive sessions for the participants. We loved seeing the energy and engagement by both freshmen and presenters.”

Peer students demonstrated PechaKuchas, a fast-paced and succinct public speaking format

Many students found these sessions informative and were excited to participate in them. “I learned to better manage my day and that I should diligently set goals and objectives in order to achieve them. I also learned how to use Microsoft’s Onenote as a better way to organize my notes,” said Archit Kambhamettu, a Tower Hill freshman who plans to apply to the DYLN Program.

Founded in 2012, DYLN is a yearlong program that inspires, motivates, and develops Delaware high school juniors to become the leaders of tomorrow in their communities. “At DYLN, our goal is to empower students to become change makers,” O’Dwyer said. “DYLN Scholars participate in innovative and creative learning experiences during the program and have unparalleled opportunities.”

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